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Lady beetles

Asian multicolored lady beetle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Superorder: Neoptera
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Coccinellidae
Subfamily Coccidulinae
Tribe Lithophilini
Tribe Monocorynini
Tribe Coccidulini
Tribe Noviini
Tribe Poriini
Tribe Exoplectrini
Tribe Azyini
Tribe Cranophorini
Tribe Oryssomini
Subfamily Coccinellinae
Tribe Singhikalini
Tribe Coccinellini
Tribe Halyziini
Tribe Tytthaspidini
Tribe Discotomini
Subfamily Scymninae
Tribe Aspidimerini
Tribe Stethorini
Tribe Scymnini
Tribe Diomini
Tribe Scymnillini
Tribe Selvadiini
Tribe Hyperaspidini
Tribe Brachiacanthadini
Tribe Pentiliini
Tribe Cryptognathini
Subfamily Ortaliinae
Tribe Ortaliini
Subfamily Chilocorinae
Tribe Telsimiini
Tribe Platynaspidini
Tribe Chilocorini
Subfamily Sticholotidinae
Tribe Sukunahikonini
Tribe Cephaloscymnini
Tribe Microweiseini
Tribe Carinodulini
Tribe Serangiini
Tribe Shirozuellini
Tribe Plotinini
Tribe Sticholotidini
Tribe Limnichopharini
Tribe Argentipilosini
Subfamily Epilachninae
Tribe Epilachnini
Tribe Epivertini
Tribe Madaini
Tribe Eremochilini

Ladybirds (Commonwealth English), also known as ladybugs (American English) or lady beetles (some scientists favor this) are a family, Coccinellidae ("little sphere"), of beetles. Ladybirds are found worldwide, with over 4,500 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone. Ladybirds are small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm, and are usually yellow, orange, or red with small black spots on their carapace, and black legs, head and feelers. As the family name suggests, they are usually quite round in shape.

Ladybirds are extremely beneficial to organic gardeners because most species are carnivorous, consuming aphids, fruit flies, thrips, and other tiny plant-sucking insects that damage crops. In fact, their name is derived from "Beetle of Our Lady", recognizing their role in saving crops from destruction. Today they are commercially available from a variety of suppliers.

Adult ladybirds are able to reflex-bleed from their leg joints. The blood is yellow, with a strong repellent smell, and is quite obvious when one handles a ladybird roughly.

The ladybird is immortalised in the children's nursery rhyme:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that's Little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan.

The ladybird is the symbol of the Dutch Foundation against Senseless Violence. [1]

Notable species: (note, not all individuals show the number of spots suggested by their names)

P-14 lady beetle consuming an aphid


External links

Ladybird is also a British children's clothing label of the 1960s and 1970s

Ladybird Books is a children's book publisher, based in Loughborough, England, noted for publishing small-format, short hardcovers illustrated in full colour, with some condensed from classic children's novels.

Ladybird, Ladybird (1995), is a movie directed by Ken Loach, about a woman losing custody of her four children.